Meet the White House’s new open source-happy IT director

“First Geek” David Recordon comes from Facebook, open standards world

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Who is this guy?

The White House has plucked 28-year-old David Recordon, engineering director at Facebook, as its first IT Director. A strong open source advocate with a decidedly non-button-down appearance, Recordon will be charged with modernizing the White House’s technology. Here’s a closer look at one of our newest public servants…

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Separated at birth?

First, no, David Recordon and actor Seth Rogen are not one in the same, despite numerous references online to the facial similarities of the two.

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From The Top

President Barack Obama had this to say about hiring Recordon as IT Director: “In our continued efforts to serve our citizens better, we’re bringing in top tech leaders to support our teams across the federal government. Today, I’m pleased to welcome David Recordon as the Director of White House Information Technology. His considerable private sector experience and ability to deploy the latest collaborative and communication technologies will be a great asset to our work on behalf of the American people.”

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U.S. Digital Service

The Administration last year created the U.S. Digital Service team comprised of some of the best minds from America’s top tech companies to help improve how government uses technology to serve citizens. Recordon was among the engineers recruited for that team.

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Things change

Recordon posted on his Facebook page last August that “While I'm not planning to move to DC or to go work for the government, I hope to continue finding ways to help these teams learn how to build high-quality technology….” This past week he wrote: “The best adventures have always been the ones I could never plan for…”

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A man who loves his job

As Recordon puts it on his Google+ profile, his Facebook occupation could be summed up as: “I do awesome stuff.”



While at Facebook, Recordon “led software engineering teams responsible for company-wide internal productivity tools that enabled staff to create, share and find information efficiently. Over the course of his time at Facebook, David also oversaw teams responsible for open source, engineering education, and the technology behind the company’s human resources, video conferencing, and physical security efforts,” according to the White House. He has more than 1,500 Facebook friends, including Mark Zuckerberg.

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Like so many Millennials, Recordon is a social sharer. Beyond sharing on Facebook, where he has worked for the past five and a half years, he also shares his lifestyle on sites such as Twitter (where as @Daveman692 follows a list called Identity Nerds), Quora (he asked “How should one evaluate if a used Segway is worth buying?”), Flickr, Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook acquisition Instagram. At a glance, he’s a fan of beer, BBQs and the great outdoors.

The LAMP Stack

Catch Recordon in action speaking about the open source LAMP stack at the 2010 Open Source Conference.

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OpenID Foundation

Recordon was a key developer and one of the founding board members of the non-profit OpenID Foundation, whose OpenID protocol allows users to authenticate and log on to numerous websites without re-entering their information over and over.

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Author! Author!

Among Recordon’s credits: A co-author of the book "OpenID: The Definitive Guide". A page turner, no doubt…

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Open Web Foundation

Recordon served as president and director of the Open Web Foundation, starting back in 2008, when he announced the group’s formation at the Open Source Convention that year. The foundation describes itself as “a non-profit dedicated to the development and protection of open, non-proprietary specifications for web technologies.”

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Open Source Award winner

Recordon in 2007 became the youngest winner of what was then called the Google and O’Reilly Open Source Award. His work on making OpenID an Internet staple earned him the award as “Best Strategist.”

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Six Apart

Recordon started working for Six Apart, an early blog and web content management system company best known for its Movable Type software, as a high school senior in 2003. He returned a couple of years later, as open platforms tech lead, after a short stint at VeriSign.

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The early years

Recordon attended private school at Catlin Gabel in Portland, Ore., then went on to Rochester Institute of Technology, where according to his LinkedIn profile, he studied criminal justice and information technology.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.